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Thread: Review - Bushnell Trophy Red-Dot Scope

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Shenandoah Valley, VA

    Review - Bushnell Trophy Red-Dot Scope

    This is an initial review of the Bushnell Trophy Red-Dot Scope, Model 73-0132A

    The sight is a 1x28 red dot powered by a single CR2032 battery and features multiple reticles and an auto on/off function.

    Picturing the scope mounted on a gun and pointed away from you you get the following layout.

    On the left is a knob that controls the "Multi-Reticle" system. There are 4 settings which are, a 3 moa Dot (Small dot icon), a 10 moa Dot (Large dot icon), Crosshairs ("+" icon), 65 moa circle with 3 moa center dot (circle icon w/dot).

    On the top you have the cover for the elevation adjustment and a larger dial that contains the battery and sets the brightness levels from "0" (off) to "11" (yeah, an "it goes to eleven", nod to all you "spinal tap" fans).

    On the right you have the cover for the windage adjustment and the dial for the power mode consisting of "F" (for Off), "O" (for On), and "A" (for Automatic on/off).

    Additionally my model came with
    -scope rings (weaver type),
    -an allen wrench
    -cleaning cloth
    -scope caps (nice heavy rubber ones with a stretch cord connector)
    -screw on polarizing lens
    -screw on "sunshade" extension.
    -Manuals, warranty card, and a couple of advertisements

    Out of the box everything was neat and clean with no visible manufacturing defects. However the wrong manual was included and I had to go to Bushnell's site and download the correct manual to find out what the power mode dial did.

    The scope mounted without difficulty on a Browning Buckmark though I discovered that most of the scope's surfaces are rounded and the best place to put a small bubble level is on the cap for the elevation adjustment. Having done that it was easy to level the scope as the scope rings were pretty much perfectly round so I could easily rotate the sight to level and make fine-adjustments (out-of-round scope rings are the bane of my existence!).

    A touch of blue lock-tite on each of the mounting screws and then I left the unit overnight to cure.

    The next day I did a rough boresight and then took the pistol to the indoor range.

    Fine-tuning the zero was quick and easy. The adjustment dials have a very positive "click". Once zeroed with the 3MOA dot I commenced firing for 20 rounds then re-checked zero and that nothing had come loose.

    Then I began switching between the various reticles and shooting with them. I am pleased to report that the zero seems to stay "locked in" regardless of which reticle you choose or how often you switch them. Pretty neat! The reticle selection dial has a "click" but it's not quite as positive as most of the other controls on this sight. The reticles themselves are clear and crisp.

    The range of brightness ("0" to "11") is fairly wide with 1 being very dim (excellent for a dark indoor range) and 11 being more than bright enough for a sunny outdoor day. The brightness adjustment dial turns with a positive click at each stop and I am confident it will not rotate accidentally.

    The "power mode" switch lacks the positive "click" of the other controls but seems to function fine. The "Auto on/off" mode is just plain neat. If the gun is tilted to the side more than 45 degrees for more than seven seconds the scope turns itself off and turns back on instantly if tilted back upright.

    I like that you can "double lock" the power off by turning the intensity dial to "0" and also turning the power mode dial to "F". This makes it extremely unlikely that your scope will accidentally turn on in a bag or case and kill your battery.

    The scope is "rated" for pistols and shotguns so I doubt my little .22 Buck Mark will ever test it's durability but, subjectively, the scope "feels" solid and of good quality so I suspect it would hold up to being mounted on a 1911 pistol or a 12ga shotgun as well.

    Interestingly the Bushnell web site lists the reticle as "5 MOA" but in fact the sight has a "multi-reticle" arrangement (you can even see the control in the pictures on the Bushnell website).

    Bottom Line:

    Initially this seems to be an absolutely top notch red-dot for it's price range ($130) this is especially true considering all of the additional features. I'll check back again in a few months for a longer-term follow up on this piece of gear.

    Last edited by ZeSpectre; September 16th, 2010 at 09:43 AM.
    "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on"

  2. #2
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    Leavenworth, Kansas
    When I saw the title I was hoping you were writing about

    I purchased this scope from Cableas and the mount to the flat top of my Colt AR was loose. I could not clamp it down tight enough to stop any movement. I called Bushnell since I live close to them and they basically blew me off about the problem. Since the front sight base blocked the reticle I purchased a rail elevation block. The scope mounted to that block without any problems. The block mounted to the ar without any problems. I have also done a bore sight but have not been to the range to check its operation yet.
    FWIW, the manual they included was basically for the scope you reviewed above. I went to the Bushnell sight and there isn't a scope manual specific to this model. I don't really care but it seems a little odd they did this. I hope to get to the range in the next couple of weeks and see how well it works. Thanks for the information on your scope.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Shenandoah Valley, VA

    Ownership update!

    We're at the two month mark and I've shot roughly 600 rounds through the pistol (Training for "Bullseye" competition). This sight has been absolutely first rate and the "auto off" function has saved my batteries at least once so far

    Really I don't have much more to add except I'm thinking of buying a second identical model for my 1911.
    "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on"

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